Peer pressure can be good or bad. It’s not necessarily a “birds of a feather” situation. You can just as easily be influenced by “birds of a different feather” if you hang around them long enough. Here’s the deal: stay close to those you want to be like and use great wisdom in your interactions with those who you don’t want to be like. Your peers do matter. This doesn’t mean that you would never associate with someone who holds different values and beliefs than you do. The key however is to have a built-in support and accountability system among those who live out the values that you desire to live. Solomon provides us with some wise poetic advice on this topic.
Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous. (Proverbs 13:20-21 NLT)
Christian leaders have a unique responsibility when it comes to setting the culture and standards of the organization or team they lead. Leadership is influence. You must be intentional about how you create an environment within your organization that has a positive peer pressure.
The standard bell curve provides a visual of continual probability distribution which in essence reveals that “the majority fall somewhere in the middle” of most issues. The two ends of the bell curve indicate the opposing views or outcomes. The responsibility of the Christian leader is to create more “pull” on the middle from their end of the continuum by creating positive peer pressure to conform to godly standards. Influence gains momentum over time. Don’t ever stop because you don’t see immediate results. Imagine the strongman competitions where the athlete is harnessed to a bus that he has to pull across the finish line. He has no momentum at first, he strains and pulls as the bus begins to inch along, but if he persists…he gains momentum to reach the finish line.
The best way to have a positive influence on the culture of your organization is to recruit a team of like-minded believers to help you. Don’t try and do it alone. Mass wins in creating peer pressure pull; good or bad. You must intentionally recruit a team to stand together for what you believe and hold as the standard. Think of it as “tug of war” and your goal is to pull the rest of your team to your side of the line.
Be intentional about the “Peer Factor” in your organization today and in time, you will have a positive impact on the lives of everyone on your team.
“Hermits have no peer pressure.” ~ Steven Wright